The boomerang gang: How to return to your old company

From being positive to not socialising with old colleagues, here are seven ways to handle your comeback

“Avoid saying anything negative about your previous role.” Photograph: iStock

Boomerang employees – workers who voluntarily leave a job and later rejoin that same organisation – are becoming more and more common.

If you’re one of these employees, how should you handle your comeback? Here are some ideas:

1 Reintroduce yourself: As you're meeting new colleagues and re-meeting old ones, highlight how development opportunities have allowed you to grow professionally, and that you're happy to be back to apply what you've learned.

2 Be positive: People will probably ask you about why you originally resigned, so it's wise to construct an honest narrative that answers their questions. Avoid saying anything negative about your previous role.


3 Reset expectations: When you left, people had a certain view of you and your capabilities. Now that you're back, you need to demonstrate that you've had new experiences and grown. At the same time, you should acknowledge that the organisation has changed since you left. Learn the new lie of the land.

4 Familiarise yourself with new processes and people: The best way to get up to speed quickly is through conversations with managers and coworkers. Find out what has changed in the organisation.

5 Network around the company: Don't fall into your old habits and patterns. Make a conscious effort to network around the company and resist the temptation to socialise with the same old people.

6 Offer perspective: Find ways to contribute to the conversation without smothering it. Be subtle and avoid gratuitous criticisms.

7 Pace yourself: If your position allows it, try to pace yourself and take your time getting reacquainted with the company.

– Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017